MADRID: The Spanish football federation has denied permission for Barcelona and Girona to play their January 27 league match in the United States, in Miami writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
A formal letter has been sent by RFEF president Jose Luis Rubiales to his LaLiga opposite number Javier Tebas.
The letter explains that neither world or European governing bodies FIFA and UEFA approve the proposal, that the Spanish government “does not see it with good eyes ” and that the players’ union is also opposed.
Tebas responded in typically combative form, saying: “These are not arguments UEFA has not spoken out publicly, FIFA has no power and we are still negotiating with the AFE.”
Taking a LaLiga match to the US has long been a priority for Tebas in his aggressive quest to take on the English Premier League in the international revenue-generating arenas.
The Spanish federation has been in flux ever since the enforced, scandal-shrouded exit of long-serving president Angel Maria Villar in 2016. Successor Rubiales sparked controversy with his decision to sack national coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of this year’s World Cup because of his intention to take over at Real Madrid after the finals.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is promoting an expansionist agenda for the European game but, in current delicate circumstances, the RFEF has decided to pay more attention to the disapproving stance of Gianni Infantino, head of the world federation.
In a recent interview with US outlets, he said: “I would prefer a big MLS game in the United States instead of a LaLiga game in the United States.
“They are regulations that everyone follows. A proposal must be accepted by the respective associations, by the respective confederations and by FIFA and there should be a special reason for it.”